On Sunday, April 7th, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) hosted its annual premier event entitled Wrestlemania 35 in the shadows of New York City at Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The card featured the likes of, Shane McMahon, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan and the returning Batista. The show was filled with its normal hits and misses with the latter proving to be overwhelming. From an average undercard to a slightly above average main event card, the WWE’s equivalent to the Super Bowl had a lot to offer, for better or for worse.
For the sixth time in its 35 year history, WrestleMania aired live in its spiritual home of New York City. Although the show was well received by fans and critics alike, the show did have its fair share of blunders. During what has proven to be his final match in sports entertainment, Batista battled his mentor and friend Triple H. During his entrance, Batista’s foot got caught between the ropes and tripped. The match was filled with botches (mistakes) as Batista, who has indulged in a successful Hollywood career, showed signs of ring rust. With his last match being in 2014, one expected mistakes from the actor, but not as excessive.
One of the better moments of the show featured eleven year WWE Veteran Kofi Kingston getting a one-on-one opportunity for the top prize in the company. Battling Daniel Bryan for the WWE Heavyweight Championship, the match offered a feel good moment for those who had been following Kofi’s career since the beginning. Filled with even paced action, the two men put on an absolute technical clinic with what was considered to be the match of the evening. After the smoke cleared it was Kingston hoisting the prestigious championship and becoming the first African born WWE Champion, and the second of African decent.
For the first time in its thirty-five year history the women of the WWE were the closing match of the card. After a build that stems back from the Survivor Series in November, Becky ‘The Man’ Lynch took on Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair. Although this was an historic moment, the match was mediocre at best, with Lynch prevailing becoming the Undisputed Women’s Champion. However, controversy ensued when it was revealed that Rousey’s shoulders weren’t on the mat when the referee counted to three. Nonetheless, Lynch walked away with both championship belts.
The final overall grade for this year’s WrestleMania is a C. Although the event had levels of excitement, it failed in comparison to past events. The feel good moment of Kingston completing his odyssey was a major up for the event. On the flip side, the evening’s main event, was underwhelming. One could expect with a build that lasted nearly five months that the blow off would be worth every cent, but in reality the match did not deliver as many predicted. The placing of the matches on the card also damaged the show’s overall performance. For example, the Universal Championship match opening the event instead of at least being sixth on the card was a downer. Even though the Intercontinental Championship match wasn’t the greatest, its co-main event spot on the card seemed a bit forced.